National Commission for the
Certification of Crane Operators
Committed to Quality, Integrity, and Fairness in Testing since 1995


NCCCO Launches CCO Rigger Certification

April 2009 – The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) has announced the availability of its much anticipated certification program for riggers. 

Rigger (Basic) is the first level in a three-level program.  Development work on the Intermediate and Advanced Rigger levels is nearing completion and will follow during the year.

“CCO Certified Basic Riggers are able to perform simple, repetitive rigging tasks when the load weight, center of gravity, rigging and rigging configuration are provided, or are known by the rigger through experience or on-the-job training,” explained Rigger Task Force Chairman, Don Jordan.  Jordan is the Lifting Technical Authority for BP America, Inc.  Candidates are required to pass a written and a practical exam in order to be certified, he added.

“Certified Basic Riggers can demonstrate pre-use inspection, identify and attach rigging with basic knowledge of hitch configurations, capacities, and basic knots; recognize associated hazards; demonstrate knowledge of signaling operations; and describe and demonstrate the use of various types of rigging equipment and basic hitches and their applications,” Jordan said.

“We expect CCO Rigger Certification to be popular with owners and employers who perceive the safety and cost benefits of a professionally developed assessment process and who recognize its place within a comprehensive risk management process, while meeting their obligations under state and federal requirements,” said NCCCO Commission Chairman, Kerry Hulse.  Hulse is Operations Manager for Deep South Crane & Rigging, Houston.

As a non-profit industry organization formed by industry consensus in January 1995 to develop third-party, independent assessments for safe lifting operations, NCCCO does not offer or administer any training for its rigger certification program.  However, to assist employers with this vital function, firms and organizations providing training are listed on  NCCCO’s web site as a public service.  Full program information is available on the Rigger pages of the website.

Like the crane operator certification programs before them, the new programs draw on three major resources: industry support, subject matter expertise, and psychometric guidance.  All elements of the new programs were developed according to rigorous standards of exam development to ensure, from the outset, the certification process would be fair, valid, reliable, and legally defensible.

Experts in their respective fields staffed the Rigger Task Force that met every other month for two years to develop the new program.  Its membership reflected strong industry-wide support for this initiative.  Interests represented included steel erectors, construction, ironworkers, management, operating engineers, insurance, government, standards-setting bodies, manufacturers and training firms.

For the purposes of the CCO Certification Program, a rigger is defined as someone responsible for determining rigging for the purpose of moving and placing a load and/or material.  He (or she) is someone who has demonstrated knowledge and skills related to preparing a load for safe movement; who understands the safe utilization of various hoisting and load movement equipment; and who can select and inspect components used to assist cranes, hoists, or other equipment to achieve mechanical advantage for the purpose of moving loads.

Like all CCO certification programs, the new rigger certification meets prevailing ANSI and OSHA standards, as well as the proposed federal OSHA requirements.  NCCCO is currently seeking accreditation for rigger certification, such as its crane operator certification programs have enjoyed since 1998.


The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) is a non-profit industry organization formed in January 1995 to develop effective performance standards for safe crane operation to assist all segments of construction and general industry.    Since NCCCO began testing in April 1996, more than 365,000 written and practical exams have been administered to over 65,000 crane operators in all 50 states.  Two-thirds of the states that have requirements for crane operators, require or recognize CCO certification.  CCO certification has been nationally accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) since 1998, and both nationally and internationally (to ISO 17024) by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) since 2007.  The NCCCO crane operator certification program is also formally recognized by federal OSHA as meeting OSHA and ASME (ANSI) requirements for crane operator competency.  The program is unique in that it is: third- party; independent of training; developed and supported by industry; a joint labor/management initiative; psychometrically sound; validated through peer review; and administered on a standardized, secure, nationwide basis.

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